Video Games refer to digital games in diverse formats, but the focus is placed on games played on pc/mobile/consoles, not involving gambling or droning. eSports is a vertical of Video Gaming. It refers to competitive video game tournaments that have individuals or teams comprising of professional gamers competing for a prize pool.
The global video gaming industry was $180.3 Billion in 2021. It’s projected to be 3X the combined size of the movie and music industry by 2025. The global eSports market size is expected to grow from $0.97 billion in 2020 to $1.28 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32%. It’s expected to reach $2.89 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 23%. Mobile gaming continues to be the most dominant platform, with 46% share in 2019. Console gaming is rapidly innovating, shifting towards games-as-a-service. PC is shrinking, but popular among pro gamers.
Traditional Sports (tSports) are looking to eSports help them innovate and capture the growing attention of younger generations, as broadcasting and sponsorship activations are still at the top of both sports revenues. Education is also heavily investing in Esports as a way to attract and retain students. The industry aims to position itself in the new era that eSports is bringing to fruition. Lastly, Esports have heavily grown due to the component of live streaming and gaming. Video gaming specific streaming platforms give fans a direct connection to players and teams. Certain eSports organizations, like FaZe Clan, are also moving aggressively into areas like merchandise, lending their brands and becoming more of a lifestyle group.
The Esports industry must be able to support the myriad needs from different stakeholders from publishers, leagues, and teams, to events, brands, and consumers. There are three primary business drivers behind a successful digital strategy in Esports:
- A reliable, fast, and secure infrastructure
- Flexible broadcasting deployment
- Security at the core
Esports rely on high-speed, low-latency, and secure connectivity. It is imperative the network the eSport is using is dependable, robust, scalable, and future proof. This will perpetuate the best playing field for all the different audiences, be it professional, collegiate, amateur, or even for leisure.
In preparation for today’s new formats and data rates, legacy SDI networks must transition to IP. This will allow for increasing bandwidths on top of a deterministic network. This means the next generation broadcasting is born from the lessons learned from Esports. Now, Esports are pushing a different and interactive experience to the fan, whether at home or in venue, and from 4K to xK. All this in a growing environment that demands multiple camera views, interactivity and new technologies like AR and VR. Metaverse and volumetric streaming media will forever change the way we consume content, and eSports is driving that change.
The global cybercrime market has grown exponentially. It simultaneously brings economical value to industries, but also worries those that solely rely on the network to function. Esports’ core business is based on trust. Trust that the championship will not be won with cracks and hacks, but with the players only ability and dexterity to win the game. A secure, reliable, and intent-based network is key for the success of this journey.
From Pong to Switch, cartridges to cloud, bits to AR/VR, video games have evolved through the decades. Esports are not only changing the videogame industry, but the entertainment, the education, the broadcasting, and the traditional sports industries altogether. Cisco is at the cusp of this change. We’re building innovative solutions that will support the bridge to the most unimaginable needs.
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